Bill Palisano, President of Lincoln Archives!... Scroll down to learn more...
Lincoln Archives President, Bill Palisano, wants to know what business are YOU really in?
As new technology continues to give way to a new way of doing things as it has done throughout time, Lincoln Archives President, Bill Palisano, shares his thoughts on how recognizing “what business” an organization is in can enable a company to withstand the test of time.
Information comes in many forms; from verbal conversations, handwritten notes, pictures, diagrams, hard copy files and records, to databases and electronically stored information. With good information, we can make better decisions.
When I was in college, in a very entrepreneurial focused management class, we did a case study on the railroads. From the 1800’s through the turn of the century, and really through the 1940’s, the railroads were THEE way that virtually all products got from manufacturers to distribution centers/warehouses/stores (and ultimately to consumers). The railroad was also THEE way people got from point A to point B, (especially for longer trips). The professor showed us how powerful the railroads became. They ‘controlled’ how people and product got around in the US. And they knew it. They treated businesses and people accordingly. Their mentality was – if you don’t like it… tough; (suck it up!). We’re the railroad, this is how it’s going to be…
But (and here’s the lesson), the railroads really didn’t understand what business they were in. They thought they were in ‘the railroad business’. Because of that belief, they did not innovate, and they did not focus on client service, nor improvement. What they didn’t understand was that really, they were in the ‘transportation business’. This, they only learned several decades later, as cars became the norm for shorter trips, and airplanes became the norm for longer trips. For freight transportation, trucks became the norm. Starting out smaller in size then growing to larger and larger capacity trucks, the trucking industry took over (in about the 1950’s onward). People and businesses had a choice now, and being ‘abused’ by the railroad was no longer ‘necessary’. People voted with their dollars and the railroads have seen significant decreases in users/clients/business ever since. The point was: They didn’t really know what business they were in.
Similarly, we then did a case study on the US Postal Service. They thought they were in the ‘mail business’ instead of the letter and package delivery business. Long story short: FedEx and UPS came along, and taught them what business they were really in. The Postal Service had been fighting for its’ very survival ever since. Again, they too really didn’t understand what business they were in.
Why am I telling you this? I have many friends (in other cities, and in other countries) who own businesses which provide similar services as mine does. But, I have heard so many talking like, acting like and thinking like the railroads used to. They think and talk like they are in ‘the shredding business’ or ‘the records storage business’, or the ‘backup & recovery business’, the ‘compliance business’, the ‘cyber-security’ business, the ID Theft Protection business, etc., etc. Etc. To me, I think they are missing the big picture. It concerns me that these people (my friends) are looking at what they do on a way too small, micro basis.
I try to look at what we do on a much broader scale. I believe that we are in the ‘Information & Data Protection Business’. Our ultimate goal is to simply help protect valuable information, from ‘the bad guys’, while at the same time, have it readily and quickly available to ‘the good guys’. Who are the bad guys? Anyone who shouldn’t have access to it, period. The good guys? Duh: those who own it or need it to do ‘good stuff’ (or at least to do their jobs). And, when bad things happen… to be there to assist. Pretty simple, and pretty broad.
I believe that this macro view has helped me to keep Lincoln Archives ‘relevant’. It’s framework has compelled my team to add several valuable products and services over the last twenty-five years. With that view in mind, my intention is that it will drive us to continuously improve and innovate. What new products and/or services should we be offering? Please tell us. We’re listening.
So, think about this: What business are YOU really in?
Rely on Lincoln
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